With spring break last week, and as working parents who didn’t have the chance to take a nice break, we had to come up with some activities to keep the girls entertained (something apart from the umpteenth rerun of My Little Pony). So being that sometimes I am either crazy or way too ambitious, one morning we decided to go to the American Museum of Natural History. Of course, the trip to the museum was not as planned (courtesy of the MTA deciding not to have local uptown trains), but we finally made it from Brooklyn to the Upper West Side and walked our way from West 72 to the museum in a beautiful April afternoon (yes, we didn’t make out the house before noon). The museum was fun, as always. Looking at dinosaurs, fossils and different animals was a treat for the girls. And then, (late) lunch time came. One of our options was the Shake Shack on Columbus and 77, but I was not really in the mood of waiting in line for a long time and not being sure if we could get a table. So we decided to walk around a bit and see if we could find something that we could all agree on. On the corner of Columbus and 81, we found our spot: kid friendly food, beers and not too busy.
The space is ample and definitely set with children in mind: a little stroller parking place on the left hand side of the entrance welcomes you. To the left, a number of booths that had some other families who seemed to share our chaotic schedule, and to the right, the bar, which I could picture pretty busy at happy hour, and some other tables facing the bustle of Columbus Avenue.
Our host took us to the back, to a little nook that faced a tiny interior garden. The staff was very friendly, although they seemed to take a while to get to the customers (the restaurant was not full to the brim). The place is very kid friendly, with high chairs, kids menus and crayons for the little ones. They even have iPads on the tables that not only let you pay your check, but also, prior a swipe of your credit card, have apps for little diners. A great idea to keep the wee ones distracted if food is taking longer than anticipated and you are not a well-prepared parent that has packed toys, games and books. Great idea except when you have to fight your imploring children and let them know that the swiping of the credit card is for food (and a beer for mom) and not to have zombies running around in a screen and sitting with you while you are enjoying your meal out.
The girls got the kids menu mac and cheese and the cheese burger. I was not really sure as to what to order and decided on the Chicago Classic individual deep dish pizza. It is deceivingly filling given its size and I have to admit that when it comes to pizza, I am definitely #teamnewyork. And even though a friend hailing from Chicago told me that the deep dish pizzas are actually good and that this chain is most definitely not a representation of their local cuisine, I have to say that I found it to be a meh pizza, with too much dough and nothing that blew my socks off.
The single unisex bathroom is located in the back. It is decently sized and OK clean and it does have a changing table.
Overall, a very conveniently located establishment if you are visiting the museum and are in a pickle. It is a very kid friendly space (with a Tuesday night special where kids eat for free), with food for both the little ones and the adults, and a full bar that might take the edge off after a long day looking at the fauna in the museum.
Uno Pizzeria & Grill
432 Columbus Avenue
New York, NY 10024
Monday – Thursday: 11:00am – 12:00am
Friday – Saturday: 11:00am – 1:00am
Sunday: 11:00am – 12:00am